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Marion teen hurt in fatal park ride accident leaves hospital
His brother died in Adventureland accident July 3
Margery A. Beck - Associated Press
Aug. 4, 2021 6:00 am
DES MOINES — A Marion teenager who was critically injured in an Iowa amusement ride accident that killed his younger brother a month ago was released from the hospital Tuesday.
David Jaramillo, 16, was placed on life support at Blank Children’s Hospital after the July 3 accident on the Raging River raft ride at Adventureland Park in Altoona, a suburb of Des Moines. His 11-year-old brother, Michael Jaramillo, died the day after the accident.
The family’s attorney, Ryan Best, said David Jaramillo has been talking, texting, making phone calls and even running at the hospital. But he still faces rehabilitation to address balance issues and to improve his fine motor skills, among other concerns, Best said.
“I think that the family would refer to it as a miracle,” he said. “When I first went down there after the accident, I didn’t know if he was going to make it. His prognosis is certainly remarkable.”
The Jaramillo family, of Marion, went to Adventureland to celebrate David’s birthday. David, Michael, 14-year-old brother Gus, 18-year-old cousin Nyla Pettie and David’s parents, Sabrina and David Jaramillo, boarded a boat for the ride that has been a staple of the park since 1983. The ride uses a conveyor belt to push circular rafts through rapids.
The family’s boat flipped upside down within seconds of the ride beginning, causing all six to hit their heads on the surface below and trapping them in their seat belts underneath the water.
The parents, Gus and Pettie managed to unbuckle or escape their seat belts, but David and Michael were trapped underwater for around 10 minutes, according to the family.
An attorney for Adventureland, Guy Cook, said Tuesday that the investigation into the accident is continuing.